NC county computer hackers demanding ‘substantially’ more than first reported

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – The hackers holding Mecklenburg County’s computer files hostage in exchange for payment are demanding substantially more money than first reported, WBTV has learned.

County Manager Dina Diorio first confirmed to reporters Tuesday night that county 30 servers were being held for ransom. The problem was discovered after county employees began experiencing a county-wide computer system outage on Tuesday afternoon.

On Tuesday night, Diorio said the hacker was demanding two bitcoins, which amounts to $23,000, by 1:00 p.m. Wednesday.


But WBTV has learned the demand is for ‘substantially’ more than that, according to a county official with knowledge of the ongoing efforts to retrieve the county’s data who asked not to be identified in order to provide details of the ongoing internal county discussions.

As of late Wednesday morning, county staff was working to determine whether the hacker was demanding two bitcoins for the information on each of the 30 servers or whether the demand was for two bitcoin for each file on the 30 servers.

It was also unclear Wednesday morning whether the data breach was limited to just 30 servers, as first reported Tuesday night. That information was also being evaluated on Wednesday, WBTV was told.

Even if the breach was limited to 30 servers, at two bitcoins per server, the county could be looking at a minimum bill of $690,000.

It is still not clear whether the county will pay the ransom.

At least two county commissioners said they had not been briefed on the additional information regarding the actual total of the ransom when contacted by WBTV on Wednesday morning.

...[READ MORE]   Source: WNCN Durham County News